Two Defensive Transfer Targets That Could Solidify Antonio Conte’s Spurs

Antonio Conte will no doubt understand the major issues he has at Tottenham Hotspur now.

He has watched on as his team has produced a mixed bag of results. He stated this after his side’s recent loss in Europe:

“After three weeks I am starting to understand the situation. It is not simple,”

“At this moment the level at Tottenham is not so high.”

“I must be honest and tell you that after three-and-a-half weeks, I am starting to understand the situation. I can tell you that the situation is not simple.”

Via Sky Sports

A quick look at the Premier League table and you’ll see that the defence has been a huge headache. They’ve conceded seventeen in their opening twelve league fixtures.

Now the good thing for Spurs is that they’ve now got a new boss that’s very capable when it comes to making a defence better. I believe he’ll have sized up the current defensive crop he has within his squad and will want his recruitment team to bring in reinforcements as soon as possible.

With that in mind I think Conte and Director of Football Fabio Paratici will take a look at their homeland for possible signings.

Antonio is a manager that has no issues going back to a previous employer and bringing in a player that he trusts.

With that in mind the Italian could try and see if Inter Milan are willing to do business regarding Stefan de Vrij.

The twenty-nine year old Dutchman would come in as an experienced head and a foot-soldier Conte would trust to be a leader on the park.

Inter had a very impressive defensive record as Conte guided them to the Serie A title last term and De Vrij was a big part of that record.

The Dutch international is a smart central defender. He can conduct passes out of the backline and those included some spectacular long range passes that will get the ball to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son asap.

Composure, trust and possession are the keys that would see Conte head back to the San Siro to try and prize that asset away from the Nerazzuri.

A possible target that might be more outside of the box.

Gleison Bremer has been a top performer for Torino for a few seasons now.

The Brazilian has no issues coming out and being combative with the opposition. He’s used to playing in a back three, which is a major plus as that is a formation Conte loves!

His stats this season have been extremely impressive. He’s averaging over two tackles per league game, four interceptions and 3.7 clearances (Stats via Whoscored). What Spurs would give for a defender with those kind of stats at the moment.

Bremer is also terrific in the air in both boxes. That’s another plus if he were to arrive in England.

Tottenham Hotspur and their defence haven’t been the same since the departures of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Antonio Conte needs to work his wonders and build up a new backline that are mean, aggressive and solid. That will probably mean going into the transfer market and the Italian going to a market that he knows inside out.

Manchester City Wouldn’t Entertain Barcelona Bids For Ferran Torres

Reports suggest that La Liga giants FC Barcelona want to sign Manchester City forward Ferran Torres on loan in January (Source Si.com).

I can see why Barca would want Torres and I could understand why the player might be interested in moving back to his homeland and playing for such a prestigious club.

But for the life of me, I just can’t see why Man City or Pep Guardiola would sanction such a move!

City will be desperate to retain their Premier League title. They’ll also want to go one better than last season and bring home the Champions League trophy to The Etihad. I’d honestly not be surprised to hear that Guardiola wants to bring the quadruple to the blue half of Manchester. The man lives and breathes silverware.

Now when you look at the current City squad, then in the final third is where they’re lacking the most. Remember they never managed to replace talismanic figure Sergio Aguero. who ironically left for Barcelona in the summer.

Torres has been missing recently due to a foot injury he sustained whilst playing for Spain last month (Source – ManCity.com).

Before that enforced lay-off Torres wasn’t just playing, the Spaniard was making a big contribution in City’s attack.

The twenty-one year old has played in six games for The Citizens, scoring three times and proving an assist. Even though he’s missed quite a few games due to injury; only Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden have bettered Torres’ goal/assist stats in Man City’s Premier League outings thus far.

He has worked well through the centre, his runs are clever and he has the pace to get in behind and scare opposition defences.

According to Whoscored, Ferran leads the way in terms shots per games with an average of 3.3. He is also fairly high when it comes to his successful dibbles per game.

At the start of this season boss Pep stated how happy he’s been with his compatriot since his arrival and also said how he can improve as a central striker:

“Last season Ferran played exceptionally well as we saw in terms of his numbers – goals and assists,”

“In this position he makes a movement like the best strikers in behind, moving incredibly well.” 

“His movement is similar to Jamie Vardy.”

“He is very young. Manchester City did a great job buying him for a great price.”

Via ManCity.com

Now back in the day, Barca could flex financial muscle and make a move on any player. Yet even then Manchester City are clearly a club that never have to entertain bids due to their owners. But at the moment Barcelona can’t even really offer a decent fee, even for just a loan deal.

With no real financial incentives, why would City offload a player that their manager likes and who is improving in a position they’re at their weakest number wise?

I think Barca are in a real mess at the moment and they are flinging a lot of darts at a board to try and get interesting loan deals in during the upcoming transfer window this winter.

I really don’t believe Pep Guardiola or Manchester City will entertain the thought of just giving them such a talent as Ferran Torres for the remainder of this tough campaign.

Man United Role Would Suit Mauricio Pochettino

Despite Mauricio Pochettino’s previous links to PSG as a player, he doesn’t seem to be enjoying his life as the club’s manager.

That might be because he isn’t really a manager as such and is more the head coach, something that disgruntled the Argentine towards the end of his time at Tottenham Hotspur.

Even the arrival of compatriot Lionel Messi hasn’t seemed to make things that much easier for Poch in the French capital. A few bosses have had similar issues at the Parc des Princes.

I can only imagine that the job opening at Manchester United would appeal to Mauricio.

While the power he’d attain at Old Trafford wouldn’t be the same as Sir Alex Ferguson during his lengthly tenure in charge, his opinions on every topic would probably be listened to and he’d have greater scope than he currently gets with PSG. Sporting Director Leonardo has a vast amount of power with Les Parisiens and he’s a man that always has a knack of rubbing up gaffers the wrong way!

A managerial side-step to The Red Devils would also take Pochettino back to the English Premier League. He enjoys the cut and thrust of that championship and understands it. He probably believes he has unfinished business in England too, as he never secured a trophy at either Southampton or Spurs.

At PSG, the head coach seems very much on the outside when dealing with transfers. He then has to manage all the personalities that go with the big money signings. That isn’t really what Pochettino is known for, he likes to build a squad and promote within when possible. The speculation linking Zinedine Zidane with PSG (Source – The Mirror), if Poch were to depart, makes total sense as he worked in a similar environment at Real Madrid.

The former Espanyol player may also fancy that job security at Old Trafford is slightly healthier compared to his current gig in France. The French superpower dumped Thomas Tuchel even though he had the best winning percentage in Ligue 1 history, just a few months later the German would win the Champions League with Chelsea.

Then there’s the relationship Mauricio Pochettino has with Man Utd legend Sir Alex.

Fergie has previously said this of Poch (Whilst the Argentine was managing in North London):

“They have had so many (managers) over the years, but this lad has composure. You never see him ruffled and the way his team play is a testimony to the work he is doing.

“The most important thing for English football is how many English and young players are in his team. He understands the advantage of playing young people.”

Via Manchester Evening News

That kind mirrors what Ferguson brought to United back in the 80s and 90s. The current United squad should also fancy their chances under the former Spurs boss as he had a great relationship with his players at White Hart Lane.

An interesting point of intrigue could be the role in which Ralf Rangnick now plays in all of this.

According to BBC Sport, German coach Rangnick is going to get the United job on an interim basis up until the summer. That could make it easier for Man United to woo Pochettino away from Paris and give PSG time to finalise a replacement.

But social media posts also suggest Rangnick will then get a consultancy role at Old Trafford. The terms of that role may or may not put off Pochettino.

No matter what happens next, I do believe that the Manchester United managerial job would suit Mauricio Pochettino more than his current one at PSG does and he’d be eager to make the switch. Time will only tell if that becomes a reality somewhere between now and the start of next season!

What Aston Villa Can Expect With Steven Gerrard In Charge

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for Aston Villa and new boss Steven Gerrard, as he manages in the Premier League for the first time.

Villa will take on Brighton with the hope of ending their recent winless run in the league.

Having watched the job Gerrard did at Rangers in the Scottish Premiership for the last three and a bit years, I feel decently placed to let Villa fans know what to expect with Stevie at the helm.

Well he is very good in the press room and gets his points across well. He will stand up for his players and he’ll always talk up his team and their chances. His defence and his courage in speaking up of Glen Kamara after what happened to the player during a Europa League game last season (Source Sky Sports) spoke volumes about not just Gerrard the manager but also Gerrard the man.

The Premier League will always associate Gerrard with Liverpool but expect Gerrard to keep his focus and discussions on what he wants to do at Villa Park.

He already made that clear during his first press conference with The Villains:

“I’m all-in and I will give this job everything that it needs for it to be a success. I’ll be 100% committed and so will my staff,” said Gerrard.”

“[It’s] very unfair and you’ll never hear me saying it’s a stepping stone. For me, I’m really honoured and proud to be in this position.”

Via BBC Sport

He will no doubt create a good relationship between himself and his players. Gerrard is still a name that creates a buzz with footballers as he was a world class star during his own playing days. He will probably be a difference maker if Villa are in for a player with a club at a similar level just because that player wants to work with such a well known name.

Gerrard favoured a 4-3-3 formation whilst at Ibrox and his new side have played in that formation a few times in the past. I’d imagine he’d like to go for that tactic again but he’ll need to assess his squad first. Expect assistant Michael Beale to get heavily mentioned when it comes to training and formations as he was seen as a bit of a tactical mastermind during their time together in Scotland.

Steven and his management team were also fairly successful in the bigger occasions during his time at Rangers, except in the domestic cup competitions. With more games of magnitude in the Premier League, it will be interesting to see if he can keep up to the standards he set whilst at The Gers.

I am really interested to see what Gerrard can do with midfielder John McGinn. I’m thinking he’ll love to get even more out of the Scotsman and try and make him as talismanic for his club as he has been for his country. That might see McGinn being allowed to roam further forward again.

I also think he will look to Danny Ings and hope to get even more goals from the forward and get performances out of him that will win him a place back in the England set up.

The manager will know that all eyes will be on him as he takes charge of Aston Villa Football Club for the first time but he’s used to that. He had that as a player at Liverpool and with his national team. He then had that same scrutiny in Glasgow, he actually seems to thrive on the attention and showing what he’s made of. But don’t underestimate what that can do for his players. It can take the pressure off of them and they can then go about their jobs without any shackles or fear that their gaffer will throw them under the bus.

I fully expect Steven Gerrard to do well With Villa.

How well?

Well we will just have to wait and see!

Van Bronckhorst Would Represent An Exciting Managerial Appointment At Rangers

It seems like Steven Gerrard will be leaving Rangers in the not too distant future.

BBC Sport are reporting that Aston Villa are working on a deal to bring the Gers manager back to the Premier League and that ‘significant developments are expected in the next 48 hours’.

While Rangers fans will be disappointed to see Gerrard leaving the club, especially after he stopped Celtic claiming their tenth league title in a row last season, obviously some will get excited by a few of the potential names that could be linked with the managerial hotseat at Ibrox.

Top of the list for many of Glasgow’s bluenoses will be former hero Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who played for Rangers between 1998 and 2001.

Gio was a sublime midfielder, who the Gers support took to their hearts during his stay in Govan. He’d leave Ibrox for Arsenal before winning a host of trophies at FC Barcelona. He would also captain the Dutch national team and would represent the Oranje an incredible 106 times.

After his sterling playing career Van Bronkhorst would return to his first club Feyenoord as assistant manager and then as their gaffer.

In his four season in charge at De Kuip, Giovanni would secure the KNVB Cup and then bring the Eredivisie title back to Rotterdam after an eighteen year wait.

He surprisingly followed his time back in the Netherlands with a job bossing Guangzhou R&F in China. That appointment would last just under a year and he left with his side finishing in a lowly eleventh spot.

Now why this manager, who was unsuccessful in China, excite the Rangers fans?

Well obviously his previous links with Ibrox help but more importantly in my opinion was his success at Feyenoord. They were never heavily backed at that time but he built a winning squad and beat out Ajax and PSV.

He did that by playing good football but he’s a boss that understands the need to change things when Plan A isn’t going right and one who knows that substance (IE winning games) is more important than style:

“I like the dynamic: 4-3-3 and being able to switch. It’s about winning the match. That can be done in many ways: with attacking football, with a good block… Every opponent is different. Preparing of a team at a match and the dynamics in a match itself, I think that is the great thing about being a trainer.”

Via Foottball-Oranje.com

Those are traits commonly associated with Rangers managers, or at least the best ones.

Being out of a job currently should also interest the Rangers board. It would make for slightly easier negotiations and I am sure the forty-six year old would be ready to return to football management after his break from the game.

The Dutchman has also stated previously that he was flattered to be linked with the Gers post previously:

“Rangers are a special football club, and I always look out for their results.”

“For me to have been a part of their history is a wonderful feeling, and very humbling.”

“To be the manager of Rangers is a huge honour, of course. I’ve been linked with it once or twice, and that was very nice.”

“You never know what may happen in the future, and we all know that it is never wise to try to predict where your career may take you.”

“You never know what happens because I know the club and have nice feelings for it.”

Via The Sunday Post

Other names might crop up and excite the Light Blues support. Rino Gattuso springs to mind but I think Van Bronkhorst would bring a calmer head and one who would be better suited to keep things ticking over for the remainder of this campaign before potentially making major changes next summer.

I don’t think that the Ibrox faithful would be enamoured if a Derek McInnes or an Alex Neil were to get the job. They haven’t won much as managers and don’t have that star name Gio has or Gerrard brought to the club.

I really think the board could bring in Giovanni van Bronckhorst and that would soften the blow of losing Steven Gerrard but will they be that ambitious or will they go for the ‘safe’ choice of McInnes and risk angering the support?

I’d guess that the Scottish Premiership champions will plump for the former Aberdeen boss and for me that will be a pity.

Blistering Mo Salah Is Back To His Best For Liverpool

I have never quite understood doubters of Mohamed Salah.

In his first four seasons with Liverpool, the Egyptian forward struck 130 goals in 203 outings.

Yes, he hasn’t better his first season tally of forty-four strikes (thirty two in Premier League) but he’s certainly not been a one season wonder at Anfield.

The attacker has been in exceptional form once again this term. In England’s top flight, he has helped himself to ten goals in his opening nine appearances. He’s followed that up with five in three Champions League encounters.

As well as being deadly in front of goal, the twenty-nine year old is also supplying for teammates. So far he’s handed out five assists this term.

This past weekend his pace, skill and lethal accuracy had rivals Manchester United all ends up as The Merseyside Reds crushed their opponents at Old Trafford (BBC Match report).

After the game, Reds teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold would proclaim Salah as being the best in the world:

It is hard to question Trent’s assessment at this current time when you consider Salah has just netted a hat-trick against Man Utd and a brace against Atletico Madrid in two supposedly tough away encounters. That is added to his important goals against Chelsea, Manchester City, FC Porto and AC Milan.

It’s a sentiment that is shared by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp:

“Come on, who is better than him?”

“We don’t have to talk about what Messi and Ronaldo have done for world football and their dominance but, right now, he is the best.”

Klopp via The Guardian

The striker is a player for the biggest of occasions. He has the foot work to skip past opponents, the awareness to find space in the tightest of penalty areas and the ability to remain calm under pressure and steer chances beyond advancing goalkeepers.

According to stats website Whoscored, Salah has a passing success rate that sits consistently above 80% and on average this season he’s making around 2.3 key passes per game too.

Mo has found himself predominately playing out on the right-wing and he’s thriving there. It gives him more time on the ball and allows him to pick up pockets of space when his side are attacking down the lefthand side.

His return to true greatness might come at a cost though.

Rumours of a move to a rich club like Real Madrid (Source Football365) and PSG (From ESPN) have never truly went away.

Contract negotiations between Salah’s representatives and Liverpool’s heriachy are said to be continuing, although The Football Insider have reported that the player wants £500k a week to stay at Anfield.

If a deal can’t be done in a timely fashion then the possibility of more transfer rumours and not having a new contract could prove to be a distraction for Mohamed Salah.

At the moment though that’s certainly not the case and we can only sit back as football fans and admire a stunning player playing in what seems to be his prime!

Clubs Line Up As Interest In Raphinha Grows

Despite Leeds United’s tricky start to their second season back in the Premier League, one man has continued to grab the eye with his performances. 

Whites’ winger Raphinha says he’s enjoying life at Elland Road but the interest in the Brazil international is growing and Leeds’ resolve to keep the winger could be tested next summer. 

A Seamless Transition to England 

It really has been a smooth transition into the physicality and pace of the English game for the South American star.

Having been snapped up for a fee of £17million from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in 2020, Raphinha went on to enjoy a superb first season in the Premier League. Of course big-money signings don’t always go the way clubs would hope, especially in the Premier League, as Bobbie Jackson covered in his five greatest Premier League transfer flops. From what has been seen from Raphinha in the English top-flight, it seems the talented winger would have no issue making the step up to a side playing in the Champions League

Raphinha bagged his first Leeds goal last season, in the West Yorkshire outfit’s first Premier League win ever at Everton. The flying winger went on to find the back of the net five more times in the league, as Leeds enjoyed a nine-place finish in their first campaign back in the top flight for sixteen years.

While Raphinha has been winning the hearts of Leeds supporters, it’s unsurprising he’s also been catching the eye of other teams in the Premier League. 

Race For Raphinha Heating Up 

Last season saw Leeds’ arch-rivals Manchester United being linked with a move for Raphinha (Manchester Evening News). The 24-year-old’s efforts this season have earned him a first call-up to the Brazil senior squad, having never featured for his country at any other level. A brace of goals in his full debut against Uruguay (BBC Match Report) and impressing in a team of superstars has put Raphinha on the map. Not only now are Manchester United interested, but Liverpool are also thought to be keeping tabs on his situation at Elland Road (Leeds Live). 

On Raphinha’s current trajectory – impressing on the same field as PSG superstar Neymar for Brazil – other clubs from outside England might also take notice. It’s not just the player’s skills and pace that has clubs paying attention, but also his remarkable work rate in Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Raphinha works tirelessly down the right channel, while also having the ability to drift inside and pick out probing passes from deep.

While Leeds try to kick-start their season into gear (The Guardian) and climb away from trouble above the relegation zone, the club will already be feeling the eyes of the world on their rising star. 

Raphinha is a player who looks to have Champions League pedigree, also keeping hold of him in the long run will be a tough proposition for Leeds.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Needs To ‘Prioritise’ On Trying To Manage Man United

I winced when I read what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said about a returning Marcus Rashford:

“Marcus has done some remarkable and fantastic things,”

“But now he maybe needs to prioritise his football.”

Via BBC Sport

In that moment the Manchester United manager turned into every troll in the country that had used that very same stick to beat the England striker with in the last twenty or so months. It showed a distinct lack of leadership, in my eyes. Basically Ole threw Rasford under the bus.

What made the statement even more galling was the fact that in Ashford’s absence United weren’t firing on all cylinders.

They hadn’t won in their last three Premier League games and they’d been put out of the League Cup.

The team lacked any real momentum and the manager just can’t seem to consistently get the best out of his expensively assembled squad.

Today against fierce rivals Liverpool, Man United capitulated and lost 5-0 at home (Sky Sports).

As a team they couldn’t press, they could not make a tackle and were passed off the park with ease. There was absolutely no passion from Ole’s Red Devils. They didn’t seem to recognise each other and looked disorganised, those mistakes have to be put at the manager’s door.

The defeat leaves United in seventh spot and already eight points off top spot.

Defensively United were again a shambles. Harry Maguire is still clearly not fit enough and certainly doesn’t look like an £80m defender. Victor Lindelof was rusty and was easily brushed aside by the opposition. Luke Shaw was once again looking like he was playing with Jose Mourinho in his ear!

Too many on the Old Trafford pitch made individual error after individual error.

Time and again Fred has proven himself incapable of protecting his back four. The Brazilian is a decent squad player at best but he shouldn’t be a regular starter for a team that have ambitions to win major honours. While United made some decent signings in the summer, not bringing in an established ball winning central midfielder is a costly mistake that they are still paying dearly for.

I’m a big fan of Paul Pogba but too many times he makes rash decisions and they end up costing his team. That happened again today. The midfielder needs to really display the world class form he seems to exert whilst playing for Les Bleus.

When Man Utd did break forward, too many times they simply aimed at getting the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo and hope he’d provide some magic. They can’t expect miracles from a man in his mid-thirties no matter how good he is. The team have to create more as a team and not just for one player.

Some serious questions will now be asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The media have stated recently that the United board back the Norwegian (Source Manchester Evening News) but will that remain the case after today’s monumental defeat?

Have things really improved under Solskjaer?

With the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte currently out of a job, I have no doubts some in the Manchester United hierarchy will be checking on some CVs.

This could really be a defining point for Ole Gunnar at Old Trafford. He needs to get everyone back on board and aiming to get things back on track. The defence needs to be stronger, the midfield needs to work harder and the forward need to blow away the opposition.

If that can’t happen, then they pressure could become too hot for the man currently sitting in the managerial hot-seat.

Newcastle Utd Job Would Interest Rangers Boss Steven Gerrard

As soon as it was announced that the ownership of Newcastle United had changed hands (Source BBC Sport) speculation was rife regarding the club’s managerial position.

Based in Glasgow, I knew that plenty within the media would link current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard with Steve Bruce’s job. And I was’t to be disappointed as The Daily Record and Sky Sports are already reporting Gerrard as being on the new Saudi led consortium’s shortlist for new gaffers.

It’s not hard to see why the Magpies and their new owners might be interested in the former Liverpool captain.

Against all the odds, Steven guided The Gers to the Scottish Premiership title last season and ending any hopes that main rivals Celtic had of securing ten titles in a row. The Rangers boss also possesses a CV that shows he has the ability to compete well in Europe. He speaks well in front of the press and backs his players.

Importantly, Steven Gerrard the name still carries star power. It can attract players and inspire troops to get the job done. The Toon will hit global headlines if they were to appoint Stevie and that will always attract a football club.

Gerrard has been linked with a move from Ibrox before. But those offers were coming from English Championship sides and they were never that enticing.

Newcastle United would offer a different proposition.

It’s claimed that the Saudi’s are ready to plough in £200m into the club’s transfer budget. Newcastle are a sleeping giant, they have a huge and loyal fanbase and now they might just have the owners in place to take them back up the Premier League table.

The job and it’s challenge actually looks a lot like the Gers gig before Gerrard arrived in Glasgow in 2018.

The forty-one year old has always had the ambition to manage in his nation’s top flight. I’m guessing the dream job has, and always will be, heading back home to Anfield but St James’ Park could allow him to cement his CV and give him a chance to challenge with the big boys in England.

A move to Newcastle would also bring Gerrard back closer to his family.

This doesn’t mean that it is a done deal.

Steve Bruce is still in the Toon hotseat, if they were to get rid of him then other names like Antonio Conte and Frank Lampard would also interest the new custodians.

The bond that Steven Gerrard shares with Rangers is very strong. His former Reds colleague Jamie Carragher said this recently:

“He’s had it with the European nights, but Stevie has got the taste for Rangers now and Glasgow,” 

“I’m not putting words in his mouth, I’d imagine he’d be looking at maybe another two or three years where he wants to really dominate Scotland and put Rangers back up there.” 

Via BBC Sport

That timeline might match up with Jurgen Klopp’s at Liverpool. Both Steven and Jurgen signed contract extensions that run until the same date in 2024. Could that be the time Gerrard returns to Liverpool?

Or will he take on Klopp as Newcastle United’s next boss?

Only time will tell!

North London Derby Victory Shows Arsenal Potential – They Now Need To Push On

Arsenal blew North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur away in the first half at the Emirates today.

While Spurs looked pretty lethargic during much of the encounter, that shouldn’t take anything away from Mikel Arteta’s men who showed plenty of desire and skill to put their derby rivals to the sword in the Premier League fixture.

In all competitions, The Gunners have now recorded four straight wins in a row. The three league victories have sent Arsenal back into the top half of the table and just four points away from the top four positions.

Now there’s still a few things I’d be worried about if I were a Gooner.

I still think they can do better than Granit Xhaka in midfield. I’m also reserving judgment on Adam Ramsdale as their number one, although his save from Lucas Moura late on was special. The first team as a whole could do with one or two more established winners within their ranks.

But in the whole there were plenty more positives for Arsenal in their derby win.

Kieran Terney is a player that just seems to continue to get better and better. He’s always been a fighter and a player that comes good in derby clashes! The Scottish defender looked very composed today and he had the beating of Dele Alli, who was hooked at half time. Tierney was as always one of Arsenal’s main players for winning the ball back. He’s a player who just needs to stay clear of injuries, the same that can be said for a lot of players currently plying their trade at the emirates.

Speaking of which – Thomas Partey is another one that can drive The Gunners forward as long as he can stay fit. He made three successful passes against Spurs and even ventured forward too.

The centre of defence partnership between Gabriel and Ben White looks to be a good one. The Brazilian made two tackles and the most clearances (Stats Via Whoscored). Between them the two centre-backs had over 100 touches of the ball and they managed to keep Harry Kane pretty quiet.

In terms of keeping the ball, Martin Odegaard was bossing possession for his team. Getting the Norwegian back on a permanent deal (Source The Guardian) looks to be a great move for Arteta and the Gunners hierarchy.

Young English forwards Buyako Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were scintillating to watch as they just ran tirelessly at the Spurs defence. Both scored and got an assists each too. Saka created three key passes. They both worked back well and helped out the rest of the team.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had his best game of the season so far in this derby. He lead the line, defended from the front and his play showed up Kane. He was very energetic and deserved to get his goal today.

That Arsenal performance has to give the team and their support encouragement that they can push on this term. It is a valuable confidence booster but only if they consistently play like that. There’s no point getting a win here and then drop points in the next fixture Brighton.

They have plenty of talented players, they have scorers within the pool and can be direct and pacy. But today they showed desire and played in a good shape, plus with confidence.

This could be the platform that sees Mikel Arteta get this team back up the Premier League table. The Spanish coach certainly believes something special is brewing at the Emirates:

“I can feel what is happening here, and I can feel what is happening with the supporters, with the generation of players that we have here, with everybody that is involved in the organisation. I think it is going to be pretty powerful.”

Via Sky Sports